The Justice Department acknowledged late Friday that Attorney General Eric Holder was on board with a search warrant to obtain the personal emails of a Fox News reporter, as media and civil liberties groups continued to raise concerns about the case.
Following prior reports indicating that Holder had likely signed off on the search warrant, the Justice Department acknowledged Holder's involvement and defended the decision. It insisted the call to seek these files -- in the course of an investigation into a leak allegedly made by State Department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim -- was legal.
"The Department takes seriously the First Amendment right to freedom of the press," the department said in a written statement, provided late Friday at the start of the holiday weekend. "In recognition of this, the Department took great care in deciding that a search warrant was necessary in the Kim matter, vetting the decision at the highest levels of the Department, including discussions with the Attorney General.
This amazing article was posted on the foxnews.com Internet site yesterday evening...and I also note that The Huffington Post has called for Holder's resignation. That's good advice...and let's hope he doesn't take too long to come to that conclusion himself. I thank Marshall Angeles for sending today's first story.
Mike O'Rourke of JonesTrading wales on the various Fed Heads and the Bank of Japan for having created a ridiculous situation where the entire market is just obsessed with every utterance from central bank chiefs, sucking away the oxygen from the real issues that should actually be driving markets. He writes in this evening's note that the events of the last two days are damning...
Losing Credibility: Earlier this month we highlighted comments Chairman Bernanke made a decade ago ... “I worry about the effects on the long-run stability and efficiency of our financial system if the Fed attempts to substitute its judgments for those of the market. Such a regime would only increase the unhealthy tendency of investors to pay more attention to rumors about policymakers' attitudes than to the economic fundamentals that by rights should determine the allocation of capital.” The events of the past two days (both here and in Japan) confirm this is the environment we are in. The situation has become so ridiculous that San Francisco Fed President John Williams had to assure the market that the Fed could increase purchases if the economy has weakened once tapering commenced. This stems from the Bullard application of QE - using QE in the same manner as the Fed Funds rate. Although the FOMC has adopted it, the Fed Chairman has done an awful job of communicating it. In any event, it is pathetic if the Fed needs to promise the next round of additional easing before the current easing has even slowed. It gives the impression that markets would simply be happier with a centrally planned economy. The reason that none of the FOMC members can give any inkling of when tapering will start is because they can’t quantify the benefits of it. In other words, they don’t know the effects of what they are doing, they just know they need to keep doing it.
Ain't it the truth! You've just read the entire must read article that was posted on the businessinsider.com Internet site on Thursday evening...and it's a news item that I found in yesterday's edition of the King Report.
Oh what a tangled web central bankers weave when they practice to deceive… Last night's panic in Tokyo, where the Nikkei dropped a stomach churning 7 per cent, demonstrates just how difficult it's going to be for the world's central banks to exit their loose money policies.
It's not even as if Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, said he was planning to exit; in fact, initially he said the reverse in testimony to Congress. It was only in the Q & A, and in minutes to the last meeting of the Fed's Open Markets Committee, that a clear bias emerged to slow the pace of asset purchases "in the next few meetings", so long as the economic data was strong enough.
What the subsequent violent gyrations in markets indicate is that any hint of applying the brakes risks generating a fresh financial crisis, which in turn would render the economic recovery still born. Both financial markets and the real economy have become addicted to "quantitative easing", such that they can't do without it.
This commentary in The Telegraph by Jeremy Warner on Wednesday is also well worth reading...and another article I found in yesterday's King Report.
Kudos to Kyle Bass at Hayman Advisers for warning that the Bank of Japan would lose control of its ¥70 trillion bond buying blitz. The spike in the 10-year yield to 1pc on Thursday was certainly shocking to behold.
His point is that the BoJ faces a “rational investor paradox”. The authorities are trying to drive up the inflation to 2pc and therefore to devalue Japanese government bonds (JGBs), so why on earth would you want to own them?
“If JGB investors begin to believe that Abenomics will be successful, they will ‘rationally’ sell JGBs to buy foreign bonds or equities,” he told Bloomberg.
He says the scramble to sell has “overwhelmed” buying by the BoJ. Governor Kuroda will now have double down with a huge increase in the scale of QE.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard doesn't stop at just reporting the news in this story posted on The Telegraph's website yesterday...he turns it into an editorial at the end. This must read blog from yesterday is courtesy of Roy Stephens.
It’s no surprise that investors/speculators in U.S. equities are determined to stick with the bullish thesis and disregard more global macro issues (it’s worked to this point!). Yet this unfolding Kuroda Gambit drama could prove too significant to ignore. The perception holds that the Fed’s $85bn will ensure ample bull market liquidity for at least the next several months.
The overall bullish take on marketplace liquidity could prove too complacent if things begin to unwind in Tokyo. And by unwind I mean that Japan bond market fragility forces a change of tack by the Kuroda BOJ. A spike in yields could prove highly destabilizing, with a bond and stock market crash not out of the question. Or perhaps the BOJ will work out an agreement with major Japanese institutions to ensure their support for low yields. The BOJ may need institutions to fall in line and stop selling bonds and the yen. Such an understanding might support a stronger yen, with less liquidity seeking higher yields overseas.
It would appear that there are now viable scenarios that are potentially problematic for the leveraged players - and for the Financial Euphoria that erupted around the globe. Perhaps an overdue bout of de-risking and de-leveraging actually commenced this week. At the minimum, the markets were reminded that there is as well a downside to all this central bank dependency and Bubble-inducing liquidity.
Doug's Friday commentary over at the prudentbear.com Internet site is a must read for me every week...and his tome from yesterday is no exception. I thank reader U.D. for sending it.
In what may be the most important story of the day, or maybe year, for a world in chains, and by making wanton asset rehypothecation a thing of the past, permitted only with express prior permission, which obviously will never come: who in their right mind would allow a bank to repledge an asset which may be lost as part of the counterparty carnage should said bank pull a Lehman. The result of this, should it be taken to completion, would be pervasive liquidations as countless collateral chain margin calls spread, counterparty risk soars all over again, and as the scramble to obtain the true underlying assets finally begins.
Here's the Bloomberg headline that tells all..."E.U. Weighs Curbs on Banks’ Use of Client Assets as Collateral".
In other words, just as we have been warning for the past four years, Europe may pull the switch on its own electric chair. Read Kyle Bass' own thoughts on the matter: Presenting Kyle Bass' Analysis On Shortening Collateral Chains; Or The Gradual Evisceration Of Shadow Banking from December of 2012.
This amazing story was posted on the Zero Hedge website yesterday...and it's courtesy of West Virginia reader Elliot Simon. It's definitely worth your time if you have it.
City firms – most notably the hedge fund, insurance and commodities sectors – are sick of the “unending blizzard” of regulation coming out of Brussels, says Mr Farage, who claims traditional City Conservative supporters are switching allegiance to UKIP.
“Slowly but surely, donors who would have traditionally supported the Tories are now holding talks with us,” Mr Farage told The Daily Telegraph. “We are asking [City leaders] to help in any way we can.”
The most recent business convert to UKIP is Andy Brough, the star fund manager at Schroders, who is understood to have joined Mr Farage’s party after growing weary with the coalition Government and European attacks on the City.
Mr Farage also has the support of the influential hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, whose former father-in-law is News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch.
No surprises here, as Nigel's is such a straight shooter, that the public is begining to understand that he'll be true to his word. This article was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site yesterday afternoon BST...and I thank Roy Stephens for his second offering in today's column.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde averted being charged by a Paris court investigating her decision to allow arbitration that benefited a supporter of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
After two days of questioning, the court named Lagarde -- who was French finance minister under Sarkozy -- a material witness in the case. The status, while not precluding charges later, shouldn’t hurt her ability to stay at the IMF helm, said Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
This news item was posted on the Bloomberg website yesterday afternoon MDT...and I thank U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally for sharing it with us.
Unrest in Stockholm’s suburbs continued for a fourth night as rioters showed their anger over a police shooting a week ago by setting fire to cars and buildings and pelting emergency workers with stones.
As many as 30 cars burned in the Swedish capital’s southern suburbs, while 11 were set alight in the Husby area, north of the city centre, where the violence broke out four days ago, police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said by phone today. Police detained one person, a 16-year-old girl suspected of preparing an act of arson.
That followed eight arrests since Tuesday. “While the situation has become better in Husby, where a lot of local people have become engaged to calm things down, the situation has intensified on the southern side of the city,” Mr Lindgren said.
Riots in the middle of socialist utopia? It's hard to believe, I know...and you can read all about it on the irishtimes.com Internet site. It's also the third and final story that I stole from yesterday's edition of the King Report.
When ill health and political gridlock forced Shinzo Abe to quit after one dismal year as Japan's prime minister, his pride was dented and his self-confidence battered.
One thing, however, was intact: his commitment to a controversial conservative agenda centered on rewriting Japan's constitution. Conservatives see the 1947 pacifist charter, never once altered, as embodying a liberal social order imposed by the U.S. Occupation after Japan's defeat in World War Two.
"What worries me most now is that because of my resigning, the conservative ideals that the Abe administration raised will fade," Abe wrote in the magazine Bungei Shunju after abruptly quitting in September 2007. "From now on, I want to sacrifice myself as one lawmaker to make true conservatism take root in Japan."
Less than six years after his humiliating departure, Abe, 58, is back in office for a rare second term. He is riding a wave of popularity spurred mainly by voters' hopes that his prescription for fixing the economy will end two decades of stagnation. The policy, known as "Abenomics", is a mix of monetary easing, stimulative spending and growth-inducing steps including deregulation in sectors such as energy.
This longish Reuters report was filed from Tokyo...and posted on their Internet site just before midnight on Thursday EDT. It's a must read...and it's particularly a must read for all students of the New Great Game. I thank Elliot Simon for bringing this most excellent essay to my attention...and now to yours.
1. James Grant [#1]: "Monetary System Won't Last...and Gold Bullish". 2. Egon von Greyerz: "Suppliers and Bank Clients Denied Gold as Shortage Intensifies". 3. James Grant [#2]: "Here is What Jim Really Thinks".
As I often remind investors, gold buyers are a diverse group, but generally fall into one of two categories. Most of the attention gets focused on those who purchase out of fear of damaging government policies (i.e., the Fear Trade).
The more important demand for gold, in my opinion, comes from the enduring Love Trade, as countries like China and India buy the precious metal out of love and tradition.
Looking at a breakdown of gold demand from the World Gold Council (WGC) through March 31, 2013, the main source of weakness was the Fear Trade, as demand for gold ETFs and similar gold products plunged in the first quarter. However, the Love Trade scooped up jewelry and bars and coins, with the tonnage in each category growing 12 and 10 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.
You can visually see the strength of the Love Trade below in the year-over-year change in total consumer demand in tons for gold jewelry, bars and coins. Indian demand grew the most, increasing 27 percent compared to the previous year.
Demand for jewelry, bars and coins in the greater China area increased 20 percent, as “seasonal strength in China, related to Chinese New Year purchasing, exceeded all previous peaks, marking a new record quarterly high,” says the WGC. Even U.S. residents had a love for gold, with demand growing 22 percent over the previous year.
This commentary by Frank was posted on his Internet site yesterday...and I thank Elliot Simon for sending it along.
Chile's environmental regulator has stopped construction and imposed sanctions on Barrick Gold Corp.'s $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama project, citing "serious violations" of its environmental permit.
The $16 million fine is the maximum allowable under Chilean law. It was applied Friday because the world's largest gold mining company acknowledged that it failed to keep its promises to build systems for containing contaminated water.
This 2-paragraph AP story was posted on the foxnews.com Internet site...and I thank Casey Research's "Nick G" for passing it along.
After gold trade was liberalised and nominated agencies were allowed to import gold, smuggling of the commodity had declined for about 14 years.
After more than 100 tons of smuggled gold reached India last year, that figure is likely to increase by at least 40 percent this year, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS.
The high import duty on gold, local taxes and restrictions on imports are leading to a rise in smuggling of the commodity into the country, world's largest gold consumer.
This news item was filed from New Delhi...and posted on the bullionstreet.com Internet site late yesterday morning IST. I thank Marshall Angeles for sending it.
“The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency.” — Evgeny Fedorov, Russian lawmaker, United Russia Party
Among the countries that still make their gold production available to world markets, four of the top seven are in long-term decline — the United States, South Africa, Australia and Canada, some would say precipitously. Three enjoy rising production — China, Russia and Peru. Among the declining states, South Africa suffered the worst cutbacks, down 52% from production in 2000. U.S. production is down 39% over the same period; Canada is down 38% and Australia, 24%.
Russia’s gold production is an important piece of the overall supply puzzle in terms of both production and reserves. Few people know (or remember) that in 1980, Russia was the second largest global gold producer at 21% of the total global output (258 metric tonnes) South Africa was number one at 55% of the total global output (675 metric tonnes). With respect to future gold production, Russia is a sleeping giant that could leap-frog the United States and Australia soon.
This worthwhile read was posted on the usagold.com Internet site yesterday.
I ran into Jay at the Pan Pacific hotel yesterday...and he mentioned that he'd done this interview with Ted and Jim Cook earlier in the week. I told him that I would be interested in posting it, so his good wife Teresa was kind enough to e-mail the audio interview...and here it is posted on the voiceamerica.com Internet site. I've had no chance to listen to it, but I would think that it's a must listen. The interview begins around the 1:45 minute mark.
A subscriber recently commented that the Oligarchs who rule Russia only wish they got to run things as efficiently as how JPMorgan and the big banks control our financial markets, particularly in the trading of precious metals. Based upon the last few days, it’s hard to argue with that. On Sunday evening shortly after 6 PM, the price of silver was taken down 10% within a few minutes on an insignificant number of contracts (1,600), evoking memories of the infamous 13% ($6) decline on the May 1 Sunday evening of 2011. If the Russian criminals oversaw silver trading and not the CME Group and the CFTC they could not possibly have rigged prices more corruptly.
What makes the silver (and gold) manipulation the perfect crime are a number of elements; short term price control through High Frequency Trading, compliant regulators and the fact that most victims don’t even realize they are being had, as the sellers are mostly just reacting to the deliberately-set lower prices. It’s hard to end an ongoing crime in progress when so many don’t realize it is in progress. Worse, there are still some who profess that there is no manipulation underway. And for the few who do realize what’s really going on, what can you do about it when the regulators are in bed with the manipulators? Perhaps the options are limited, but that’s not the same as non-existent.
This commentary by Ted falls into the absolute must read category...and it was posted on the silverseek.com Internet site yesterday...and I thank Elliot Simon for pointing it out...and for his last contribution to today's column.
We got a small, if bitter, taste of gold’s “Zero Hour” in the second half of April.
Either that, or the world’s largest banks engineered a take down of gold for the purpose of staving off Zero Hour… for now.
As you’ll recall from these pages in March, “Zero Hour” is the name we give to the moment when the price of real, physical gold in your hand starts to break away from the quoted price on the commodities exchanges.
This commentary by Addison was posted on The Daily Reckoning website yesterday...and is well worth reading. I thank Roy Stephens for today's last story...and his final offering in today's column.
Jim calls it like it is when interviewed by Max Keiser on Russia Today yesterday. The video was posted on the youtube.com Internet site...and is well worth watching. The interview begins at the 12:00 minute mark. I thank reader Harold Jacobsen for today's first story.
The stock of capital flowing into emerging markets has doubled from $4 trillion to $8 trillion since the Lehman Crisis, chasing a catch-up growth story that looks tired and has largely sputtered out in Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
Much of the money has gone into debt, with falling economic returns. This is the next shoe to drop in the festering saga of global imbalances. All it will take is a gear-shift by the US Federal Reserve and the inevitable dollar surge that follows. It was the Volcker Fed that set off Latin America's defaults in the early 1980s. It was the mighty dollar that set off Mexico's Tequila crisis, and then the East Asian chain-reaction in the 1990s.
"Every emerging market blow-up that I have seen was preceded by a rise in the dollar," said Albert Edwards for Société Générale .
"Investors overlook how vulnerable these countries are to a dollar shock. The whole process of excess liquidity and foreign reserve build-up goes into reverse. It acts like monetary tightening and turns into a vicious circle. Markets look for the weak link with the worst current account deficit, and then the dominoes start to fall," he said.
This must read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard article was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site late on Wednesday evening BST...and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to our attention.
Austerity is out after the euro-area recession extended to a sixth quarter. Stimulus isn’t yet in.That was the something-for-everyone message from European leaders at a summit in Brussels yesterday. All touted a previously announced 6 billion-euro ($7.7 billion), seven-year initiative to fight youth unemployment, now at 24 percent. National governments won’t put up more cash, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
“It’s not a matter of money,” Merkel told reporters after the summit. “It’s a matter of looking at how to spend this money most productively.”
The 17-nation euro area’s nonstop contraction since the third quarter of 2011 has left the European Central Bank to try to mitigate the damage by cutting interest rates and exploring unconventional ways of channeling money to needy companies, especially in the south.
This Bloomberg story, filed from Brussels, was posted on their website just before midnight MDT on Wednesday...and it's courtesy of U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally.
Large depositors in the EU will from 2016 be in line to suffer losses if a bank gets into serious trouble, but deposits under €100,000 should be fully protected, MEPs in the economic affairs committee voted late on Monday (20 May).
“The bail-in of any creditors should be done according to a clear hierarchy, with depositors with savings over €100,000 last in line, whilst deposits under €100,000 would be fully protected,” said Green economic and finance spokesperson Philippe Lamberts in a statement.
The votes amended the European Commission’s bank recovery and resolution proposal.
The devil is, as they say, in the details...and there is quite a bit in the fine print...which you'll soon discover if you read this euobserver.com story from yesterday...and I thank Roy Stephens for his second story in today's column.
The European Commission has been forced to beat a hasty retreat from a proposed ban on jugs of olive oil in restaurants after the idea met with widespread ridicule.
Barely a week after it was announced for "hygiene" and "consumer protection" purposes, the EU commissioner in charge, Dacian Ciolos, rushed to the same press room on Thursday (23 May) to announce he was withdrawing the measure.
Referring to the "quite strong reactions", Ciolos said he had decided to "not submit it for adoption."
The proposal would have banned jugs and dipping bowls of olive oil in restaurants from next year and was meant to prevent restaurant-goers from being served any old inferior oil.
This is from the top drawer of the "You can't make this stuff up" filing cabinet...and was posted on the euobserver.com Internet site late yesterday afternoon Europe time...and it's Roy Stephens' third offering of the day.
Yields on 10-year Japanese bonds (JGBs) have doubled in a month and spiked dramatically to 1pc on Thursday, triggering a 7.3pc crash in the Nikkei stock index. It was the biggest one-day fall since the tsunami two years ago, comparable with wild moves seen at the height of the Asian crisis in 1998.
The contagion effect set off a retreat from stocks across the world, though Wall Street later pared losses. The iTraxx Crossover or “fear gauge” for corporate bonds jumped 25 points to 392.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) intervened with $20bn (£13bn) to drive down yields again but the failure to ensure an orderly debt market has started to rattle investors. Banks, pension funds and insurers appear to be dumping JGBs for fear of being caught on the wrong side of a bond rout.
Richard Koo from Nomura, an expert on Japan’s Lost Decade, said the sell-off in recent days has shown that the BoJ may not be able to hold down yields “no matter how many bonds it buys”. This could lead to a “loss of faith in the Japanese government” and the “beginning of the end” for its economy, if handled badly.
This must read commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was posted on The Telegraph's website yesterday evening BST...and I thank reader Glenn Jeffs for bringing this very important story to our attention.
1. James Turk: "We Are Witnessing Extraordinary Events in Gold and Silver". 2. Rick Rule: "How Investors Can Make a Fortune in These Markets". 3. Jim Grant: "Gold and the Fed's Ungraceful Attempt to Exit QE". 4. The audio interview is with Michael Pento.
In his market letter for May, commodities fund manager John Butler of Amphora Capital in London describes the rationales and mechanisms of surreptitious currency market intervention by central banks, rationales and mechanisms that will be familiar to anyone who follows the gold market with even the slightest skepticism.
Drawing on a long conversation he had years ago with his professor of international economics in graduate school, a professor who was a former high U.S. Treasury Department official, Butler writes that supporting the U.S. dollar amid suppression of interest rates well may involve surreptitious suppression of the price of gold:
"The United States may have little in the way of foreign exchange reserves but it has a huge pile of gold reserves -- the world's largest, in fact. If the U.S. were to set about covertly intervening to support the dollar amid artificially low interest rates, therefore, it would make far more sense to do so through covert intervention in the gold market. Should they follow my former professor's advice, they would sell gold into the market at relatively illiquid times for maximum price effect. They would do so repeatedly until certain technical chart patterns turned in favor of the dollar and against gold, establishing a new trend. And if they succeeded, no one need ever know."
Central bankers, Butler notes, are very skilled tape painters.
With Butler's kind permission, the May edition of his letter, the Amphora Report, is posted at GATA's Internet site. It's a must read for sure...and I thank Chris Powell for wordsmithing the above introduction.
Gold capped the biggest gain in almost a month on signs that Chinese manufacturing will slow in May for the first time in seven months, sparking a drop in global equities and increased demand for bullion as a protection of wealth.
The preliminary reading for a Chinese purchasing managers’ index missed analysts’ estimates and came in below the level of 50, indicating a contraction. Commodities and stocks retreated, with Japanese equities falling the most since the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster two years ago. Bullion also gained as the dollar declined the most in more than a month against a basket of currencies.
“Nervous investors are turning to gold as everything else looks very bleak today,” Carlos Perez-Santalla, a broker at Marex North America LLC, said in a telephone interview from New York. “The weakness in the dollar is supportive for gold.”
This Bloomberg story was posted on their website during the Denver lunch hour yesterday...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for finding it for us.
The yuan rose 0.6 percent this month, the best performance in Asia, as Premier Li Keqiang signaled China will unveil a plan on capital-account convertibility this year. People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang said in April the yuan’s trading band will be widened “in the near future.” The central bank sets a daily reference rate for the currency, which can diverge from the fixing by a maximum 1 percent.
China may double the band within a year, Ma Jun, chief economist for Greater China at Deutsche Bank AG, said at a press conference in Singapore on May 22. The nation has designated Qianhai district of Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, as a testing ground for freer cross-border yuan usage. The yuan climbed as much as 0.1 percent today to a 19-year high of 6.1279 per dollar in Shanghai after the central bank strengthened its fixing by 0.13 percent to a record 6.1867.
A wider trading range for the currency will spur trading and hedging in gold denominated in it, China Gold & Silver’s Cheung said. The society may seek cooperation with Qianhai Authority in steps to develop yuan-based bullion trading, such as building a vault for the precious metal, he said.
This Bloomberg news item, filed from Hong Kong, was posted on their Internet site yesterday evening MDT...and I thank Marshall Angeles for sending it along.
Goldbroker's Fabrice Drouin Ristori interviewed GATA's secretary/treasurer about gold market manipulation the other day, leading off with the question of how long it can continue. This interview was posted on the goldbroker.com Internet site yesterday.
Bron Suchecki of the Perth Mint reviews U.S. commodity trading regulations and concludes that they're too complicated and full of loopholes to result in any sensible interpretation that might be applied against market manipulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
"What the market needs," Suchecki writes, "is straightforward, common-sense rules that everyone knows in advance. ... Or just drop the pretense and go free-for-all law of the jungle. Having interest rates this low doesn't help, as speculators have minimal cost in holding a position for a long time (until it blows up) or taking on large positions. This just adds to the volatility. Time to give up on the CFTC being able to control this."
Suchecki's commentary is headlined "Time to Give Up on the CFTC" and it's posted at the 24hGold.com Internet site. I found this commentary in a GATA release from yesterday evening Vancouver time.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the central bank’s record stimulus program under questioning from lawmakers, telling them that ending it prematurely would endanger a recovery hampered by high unemployment and government spending cuts.
“A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further,” Bernanke said today in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington.
Bernanke lamented the human and economic costs of an unemployment rate at 7.5 percent nearly four years into the recovery from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and said the Fed’s easing is providing “significant benefits.” His comments echoed remarks by William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who said in an interview that it would take three to four months before policy makers will know whether a sustainable recovery is in place.
You have to ask yourself this question. What recovery is he talking about? I thank U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally for sending me this Bloomberg story yesterday.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said policy makers will know in three to four months whether the economy is healthy enough to overcome federal budget cuts and allow the central bank to begin reducing record stimulus.
“I don’t really understand very well how the tug-of-war between the fiscal drag and the improving economy are going to sort of work their way out,” Dudley said in an interview with Michael McKee airing on Bloomberg Television. “Three or four months from now I think you’re going to have a much better sense of, is the economy healthy enough to overcome the fiscal drag or not.”
Dudley’s remarks underscore that Fed officials have yet to reach consensus on when or how to dial back their $85 billion monthly bond-purchase program designed to spur growth and lower unemployment. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser has called for reducing stimulus at the Fed’s next meeting in June, while St. Louis’s James Bullard said Tuesday the purchases should continue.
Why does anyone pays attention to these guys? It's print...or die...and a couple of more months ain't going to make any difference, as they're still going to print. This moneynews.com article from yesterday was sent to me by West Virginia reader Elliot Simon.
This 7:28 minute video with Jim Grant and Maria Bartiromo was posted on the CNBC website yesterday afternoon just after the markets closed. It's a must watch for sure...as James rips the Fed a new one...and I thank I thank reader Joseph Kahan for sharing it with us.
Applications for U.S. home mortgages dropped for a second week in a row last week as a spike in interest rates stymied demand for refinancing, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, tumbled 9.8 percent in the week ended May 17.
The index of refinancing applications slumped 11.7 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 3 percent.
This very short Thomson/Reuters story appeared on the moneynews.com Internet site very early yesterday morning EDT...and is worth skimming. I thank Elliot Simon for his second offering in today's column.
A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.
Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.
This story appeared on the L.A. Times website early on Tuesday afternoon PDT...and I found it in yesterday's edition of the King Report.
The latest poll of Morgan Stanley's top clients from across the world says it all.
Chief economist Joachim Fels tells us that not a single investor at the bank's Florence forum thought the world economy would rebound with any strength later this year.
Just a quarter expect a return to trend growth. Some 57pc think there will be no escape from the "twilight" conditions afflicting the western world, and 20pc expect an full-blown global recession. That is a remarkably bearish set of views. Yet the same investors are overwhelmingly bullish on stocks and property.
This schizophrenic exuberance seems entirely based on the assumption that QE and central bank largesse will keep the game going, flooding asset markets with liquidity. Indeed, 80pc think the ECB will cut rates again, and half think it will have to swallow its pride and join the QE club in the end.
Great shades of 1929! Party on, dude! This must read commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site on Tuesday...and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to our attention.
Europe edged closer to lifting banking secrecy on Wednesday after Austria said it was ready to share data on foreign depositors but Vienna's support could fade should efforts to strike a similar deal with Switzerland fail.
Austria's dropping of objections allowed EU leaders to commit to an exchange of bank information between countries by the end of the year, as cash-strapped states seek to stop tax evasion and close loopholes highlighted by Apple Inc's use of a base in Ireland.
"It's a bad day for tax cheats," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told reporters at a meeting of EU leaders to discuss fighting tax fraud by lifting bank secrecy.
"I believe we will manage the exchange of data by the end of the year," he said, adding later that although he was watching negotiations on a similar deal with Switzerland, Austria was in "full agreement".
This Reuters article was filed from Brussels...and posted on their website mid-afternoon on Wednesday...and it's another offering from Laurent-Patrick Gally.
Asian stocks took a beating Thursday as data showing that Chinese manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in May exacerbated early losses recorded on worries the Federal Reserve could downscale its bond purchases.
Japanese shares suffered the most, with the Nikkei Stock Average swinging spectacularly to plunge more than 4% in the afternoon session from a 2% rise posted earlier in the day.
The benchmark, which had ended at multiyear highs in each of the previous four sessions, was down 4.1% in highly volatile late-afternoon trade.
The Nikkei Average’s more-than-6-point intraday reversal coincided with a surge in Japanese government bond yields that forced the Bank of Japan to offer 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) in funds to calm investor nerves. The central bank announced the fund-supplying operation after 10-year JGB yields soared to their highest level in more than a year, citing “the unreasonable increase” in volatility.
This marketwatch.com story, filed from Hong Kong, was posted on their website in the wee hours of this morning EDT. It's worth your time...and I thank reader 'David in California' for finding it for us.
The first interview is with Michael Pento...and it's headlined "Fed Lies and Propaganda Won't Stop Gold and Silver Rise". Next is this commentary by Citi analyst Tom Fitzpatrick "Gold to Advance a Stunning $2,000+ From Current Levels". Here's a blog with Robert Fitzwilson. It's entitled "The Fed Destruction and a Cascading Panic Among Investors". And lastly is this interview with Dan Norcini...and it bears the headline "Incredibly Important Developments in Many Key Markets".
Four silver sets from the United States Mint are slated to be reduced in price according to a memo from the bureau.
According to the U.S. Mint, the 2012 and 2013 US Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set, the 2013 US Mint Silver Proof Set, and the 2013 US Mint Congratulations Set will all be re-priced. Effective date for the change is not yet known, though it could happen on Wednesday.
This short article was posted on the silvercoinstoday.com Internet site on Tuesday...and I thank Marshall Angeles for sending it.
London-listed gold producer Petropavlovsk has said it will pre-sell 55pc of its future output planned for the second quarter of 2014, at an average price of $1,408 an ounce. This is the first time that a big producer has hedged more than half its future sales.
“We have a huge investment programme and thought a little price protection in the short-term will let us sleep better at night,” said chairman Peter Hambro.
“It was hedging that killed gold prices the 1990s,” said Ross Norman from Sharps Pixley. “Every time there was rally, the producers seized on the chance to sell forward. It was most unhelpful.”
Mr. Norman said it was the unwinding of hedge books a decade ago that unleashed the bull market. This process could now go into reverse if hedging spreads. "We don't think it will. The forces that led to the bull market will prevail," he said.
The forward sale is for only three months...and Ross Norman has it exactly right. Except for project financing, no miner is going to put their head back in that particular lion's mouth ever again. This Ambrose-Evans Pritchard offering was posted on The Telegraph's website early yesterday evening BST...and it's Roy Stephens second and final offering in today's column.
During the third week of May each year, representatives of the platinum industry gather in London, for an event that has become known as ‘Platinum Week’. Platinum Week centers on an industry dinner sponsored by the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM) which marks the anniversary of the inauguration of the London Platinum Quotation (the forerunner of the present London Fixings) in 1973.
This event is attended by platinum group metals (PGM) producers, refiners, fabricators and traders. The first major event of the week is the publication of Johnson Matthey’s annual review of supply and demand for the PGM markets.
According to Johnson Matthey, the platinum market was in deficit by 375,000 ounces in 2012, close to their forecast made last November. The palladium market was also undersupplied but by a much larger margin of more than 1 million ounces.
This commentary by David Franklin over at Sprott Asset Management is a must read.
Sprott Silver Equities Class Co-Manager Maria Smirnova understands the power of leverage. She has seen the big impact even a slight increase in the silver price can have on silver producers. Every cent is multiplied and goes right to the investor's bottom line, giving the equities more upside than possible in a coin. That is why Eric Sprott increased holdings of silver equities in certain Sprott funds. Smirnova discusses five of these companies in this interview with The Gold Report.
This interview was posted on theaureport.com Internet site yesterday...and is well worth reading.
Premiums for gold bars hit a record high in Asia on Wednesday as lower spot prices lured more buyers, mainly in China, the world's second biggest consumer of the precious metal, amid tight physical supplies.
Premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong touched a new all-time high of $6 an ounce over spot London prices, up from $5 last week. Singapore premiums rose to $5.
Banks in China were quoting up to $7 in premiums, two traders in Singapore said.
This Reuters story, filed from Singapore, was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site...and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sharing it with us. It's definitely worth reading.
Although the primary purpose of the futures markets is to provide an efficient and effective mechanism for the management of price risks, when it comes to precious metals, and as we have seen in recent weeks, it has become nothing more than a casino run by a group of bullion banks that are acting as agents for the US Federal Reserve which is intent in manipulating these markets as they do all other markets. And, while much of the recent volatility has been caused by the options and futures market, the regulatory authorities of the CFTC who came up with a series of hikes in margins to stop the price of both gold and silver from rising, claiming that the markets were extremely volatile, I see they have done nothing to prevent the recent price drops.
The action or lack thereof by the regulatory authorities is most disturbing and would suggest that they themselves are colluding with the parties involved in this illegal manipulation of the gold and silver market.
Another excellent commentary on the obvious price management scheme by JPMorgan Chase et al. Author David Levenstein. a South African gold trader and bullion dealer, lets it all hang out in this rather long, but on-the-money commentary filed from Johannesburg on Tuesday. I thank reader Rudi Staudinger for our last story of the day...and it's certainly worth your time.
U.S. policymakers must address debt loads projected to rise later this decade to avoid a 2013 downgrade, even as the latest budget projections are “credit positive,” according to Moody’s Investors Service.
The U.S. budget deficit will drop to $378 billion in 2015 from a record $1.4 trillion in 2009, according to Congressional Budget Office data. The federal government will post a $642 billion deficit this year, the first time in five years that the shortfall has been less than $1 trillion. Moody’s said Sept. 11 that the U.S.’s top Aaa rating would likely be cut to Aa1 if an agreement on the debt ratio isn’t reached.
“The fact that it showed much lower debt levels going forward, we view as a positive development,” Steven Hess, senior vice-president at Moody’s and based in New York, said in a telephone interview of the CBO forecast. “More needs to be done on the policy front to address this rising debt ratio.”
This moneynews.com article was posted on their website early Monday afternoon..and today's first story is courtesy of West Virginia reader Elliot Simon.
After five years under investigation for insider trading, Steven Cohen is considering proposing a deal to prosecutors that would shut his $15 billion hedge-fund firm to outside investors, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
Cohen has discussed an agreement under which his SAC Capital Advisors LP would admit wrongdoing but wouldn’t be prosecuted unless it broke the law again, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. As part of the deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement, Cohen would close the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm to outside investors and make it a family office that manages his personal fortune. SAC Capital probably would also pay a fine.
That Cohen would ponder a deferred prosecution agreement suggests the 56-year-old billionaire sees it as unlikely that he could fight criminal insider-trading charges and continue to run a hedge fund. Prosecutors, who have already linked at least nine current or former employees to insider trading while at SAC Capital, probably wouldn’t accept an agreement that lets Cohen off the hook, said John Coffee a professor at Columbia University School of Law.
"...won't be prosecuted unless it breaks the law again???" That's saying that you can commit your first murder, bank robbery, or fraud...and get a pass. You can't make this stuff up. This story was posted on the Bloomberg website late Monday afternoon...and it's courtesy of U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally.
Whether it’s the shape-shifting group of reptilian descendants from the constellation Draco who control humanity, or the shadowy cabal of powerful financiers and politicians who covertly run all governments, conspiracy theorists are once again preparing for their annual jamboree of protest against those who really rule the world, this year in the highly secretive destination of... Watford.
For three days beginning on 6 June, a five-star hotel in Chandler’s Cross that normally hosts the England football team before Wembley matches, will turn over its 227 luxury rooms and 300-acre estate grounds to the über-secretive Bilderberg Group.
The Grove, once the home of the earls of Clarendon where prime ministers such as Palmerston and Walpole were guests and where a young Queen Victoria started the fashion for “the weekend break”, will turn back the clock when it welcomes around 140 of Europe and America’s most powerful leaders from banking, finance and politics with a scattering of royalty and aristocracy adding to the elite guest list.
Due to a tradition that stretches back to 1954 and the first conference held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands, nothing that is discussed or agreed at a Bilderberg meeting is reported. Until recently even the names of those who were invited was kept secret.
This news item appeared on the independent.co.uk Internet site on Tuesday...and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for bringing it to our attention.
EU leaders will make another bid to agree rules on tax evasion after UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on 10 British tax havens to "get their house in order" on secret bank accounts.
In a letter released Monday (20 May) to the leaders of the British islands, including the Channel and Cayman islands, Cameron urged them to disclose details of accounts used for company ownership.
The islands should "provide for fully resourced and properly managed centralised registries, that are freely available to law enforcement and tax collectors, and contain full and accurate details on the true ownership and control of every company," he said.
This story appeared on the euobserver.com Internet site early yesterday morning Europe time...and it's Roy Stephens first offering in today's column.
Despite the British government’s desire to soft-pedal the country’s possible EU exit, the referendum to decide UK’s future in the Union must be held before the 2015 general election, believes the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage.
With a lot of hard feeling swirling around the EU, one thing many seem agreed on is anger at Brussels. Nine European countries are now in recession and, with no end to austerity in sight, EU membership appears to be more trouble than its worth for some.
The leader of the Euroskeptical UKIP party, Nigel Farage, says recent research show that by participating in the EU, Britain is annually losing more than £100 billion due to membership fees and the Union’s regulations.
This story was posted on the Russia Today website late Monday evening Moscow time...and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens.
With Tim Cook being fried on Capitol Hill, it is perhaps ironic that the issue of taxes is front-and-center in the European parliament today. However, as usual, the always-willing-to-tell-the-truth Nigel Farage points out the gross hypocrisy of a political elite calling for higher taxes (on the wealthy and more broadly in peripheral nations) when the reality is that the higher-ups in the European parliament have their marginal tax rates capped at 12%. Of course, none of that matters because stocks are rising and interest rates are falling; but perhaps the 60% of Greek youth or 57% of Spanish youth might be intrigued at the new normal idea of 'fair share' in Europe.
This 3:56 minute tirade was posted on the Zero Hedge Internet site early yesterday afternoon...and this video clip is courtesy of Marshall Angeles.
A draft European Union law voted on Monday would shield small depositors from losing their savings in bank rescues, but customers with over 100,000 euros in savings when a bank failed could suffer losses.
On Monday, a group of European lawmakers in the house's economics committee voted that, from 2016, large depositors in the European Union might suffer losses if a bank gets into serious trouble, echoing a deal in Cyprus where wealthy depositors were hit hard at two banks to save the country from bankruptcy.
Under the EU proposal, a bank would only dip into large deposits of over 100,000 euros once it had exhausted other avenues such as shareholders and bondholders.
This Reuters story, filed from Brussels, was posted on their website late on Monday evening Europe time...and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sending it along.
Wealthy businesspeople shift millions of euros abroad while profitable companies use accounting tricks to minimize their taxable earnings and assets. The EU finally wants to create effective policies to curb these practices, but faces strong opposition from member states.
BASF, based in Ludwigshafen in southwestern Germany, has a large tax department, whose work consists partly in moving money around between continents. But now the company has discovered a tax haven right at home in Europe
In addition to a large plant, the company operates the BASF Belgium Coordination Center in Antwerp. Some 160 employees at the center spend a portion of their time searching for legal ways to reduce BASF's tax bill. In 2011, the company paid taxes on its many millions in profits at a rate of only 2.6 percent.
BASF is by far not the only company to take advantage of favorable tax conditions in a neighboring EU country to improve its bottom line. Volkswagen, currently the most profitable company in Germany, was even greedier. In 2012, Belgian subsidiary Volkswagen Group Services paid no taxes at all on profits of €153 million, and in the previous year it raked in €141 million in tax-free profits -- and it was all completely legal.
This story was posted on the German website spiegel.de yesterday afternoon Europe time...and I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.
More than 8,000 French households' tax bills topped 100 percent of their income last year, the business newspaper Les Echoes reported on Saturday, citing Finance Ministry data.
The newspaper said that the exceptionally high level of taxation was due to a one-off levy last year on 2011 incomes for households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.67 million).
President Francois Hollande's Socialist government imposed the tax surcharge last year, shortly after taking office, to offset the impact of a rebate scheme created by its conservative predecessor to cap an individual's overall taxation at 50 percent of income.
This Reuters item, filed from Paris, was posted on their Internet site early Saturday afternoon EDT...and I thank U.K. reader Teresa Tannahill for bringing it to our attention.
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on Tuesday to pass a bill that will be highly unpopular in Moscow, not to mention Damascus.
The Syrian Transition Support Act would provide arms to Syrian rebels in support of a regime change — a precedent Russia deeply opposes. Moscow has already been overtly sending weapons to Assad (more intensely so as of late), so Washington's move to overtly arm the rebels could easily paint Syria as the battleground of a blossoming proxy war.
Russia won't like that idea, but it also won't like the paragraph in the bill about sanctions on anyone shipping arms or oil to the Syrian regime: Sanctions on arms and oil sales to Assad: Targeting any person or entity that the President of the United States determines has knowingly participated in or facilitated a transaction related to the sale or transfer of military equipment, arms, petroleum, or petroleum products to the Assad regime.
This very short article appeared on the businessinsider.com Internet site yesterday evening EDT...and it's Roy Stephens' final offering in today's column.
As Japan’s cherry trees bloomed and the stock market soared, Kohetsu Watanabe flew to a blossom-viewing party in Tokyo hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to tell the premier personally how bad things really are.
When the head of machine-parts maker Daikyo Seiki Co. shook hands with Abe at the 12,000-guest event in Shinjuku Gyoen park, he says he begged the premier to help small- and medium-sized companies that make up 70 percent of Japan’s industry.
“Stocks and the yen may have come back, but the state of the real economy is very different,” said Watanabe, 49, who has no plans to raise wages for his 17 employees and hasn’t paid a bonus since 2008. “It’s impossible for me to be optimistic.”
This Bloomberg story appeared on their website in the wee hours of yesterday morning MDT...and I found it in yesterday's edition of the King Report.
1. Dr. Stephen Leeb: "Gold, Silver and 100-Year Inflection Point to Crush the West". 2. Richard Russell: "I Haven't Seen This in 60 Years of Writing". 3. Ron Rosen: "Silver to Soar a Stunning 400% and Gold $1,500 in 10 Months". 4. The audio interview is with Egon von Greyerz.
Ten striking South African miners were taken to hospital on Tuesday after being hit by rubber bullets, police said, as labour strife swells in mines and factories ahead of mid-year pay negotiations.
"If our demands are not met we will have no option but to go to the streets," NUMSA national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo told Reuters.
The comments underscored the fragility of labour relations in Africa's biggest economy since last year's bloody mining sector unrest, and pushed the rand beyond 9.50 to the dollar for the first time since early 2009.
The currency extended its two-week slide after police confirmed that security guards had fired rubber bullets at stone-throwing wildcat strikers at a chrome mine near the platinum belt town of Rustenburg, 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.
This Reuters story, filed from Capetown, was picked up by the mineweb.com Internet site yesterday...and I thank Ulrike Marx for digging it up for us.
India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is back to his favourite topic: curbing gold demand. India appears set to take even more steps to curb gold demand if imports continue to rise at the current pace, Chidambaram has said.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a conference, he pointed out, as consumers across the country thronged jewellery outlets this past month given the fall in the precious metal's price, that the government has decided not to distance itself from the financial problems caused by the ever rising demand by curbing gold imports yet again, despite the many measures already taken in the last few months.
Last week, India's central bank the RBI restricted, with immediate effect, the import of gold on consignment basis by banks. Even as the move will limit imports to a large extent, the government has said imports can be brought in only to meet the genuine needs of exporters of gold jewellery. However, retailers say the central bank's move is expected to lead to higher forex outgo on each transaction.
This mineweb.com story was filed from Mumbai yesterday...and is well worth reading. I thank Ulrike Marx for her third and final contribution to today's column.
Police began probing the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Ltd., owner of the failed commodities market set up by a member of the city’s cabinet, after the securities regulator found suspected financial irregularities.
The arrest of three men after the May 18 shuttering of the exchange prompted its Chairman Barry Cheung, who sits on Hong Kong’s Executive Council, to say he is taking a leave of absence from all public positions. Cheung hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.
HKMEx lost its trading license after failing to attract sufficient volumes as it competed with rivals such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the London Metals Exchange, which was bought by Hong Kong’s stock-exchange operator last year. Cheung, who ran the 2012 election campaign for the city’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, is the latest in a series of prominent Hong Kong government and business figures to be affected by criminal investigations.
This businessweek.com story was posted on their website in the wee hours of this morning...and I thank U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally for sending it along just before I hit the 'send' button on today's column.
In the short term, it is pretty much impossible to tell when prices have bottomed until after the fact. Instead of trying to guess the exact day or the specific price that gold and silver will turn back up, I take the long-term perspective that if gold surpasses $5,000 and silver exceeds $150 (which I consider to be questions of “when” not “if”) it won’t really matter whether someone now pays $1,700 or $1,350 for an ounce of gold or $22 or $35 for an ounce of silver. In other words, I consider today’s prices to be a bargain buying opportunity whether or not we are near the absolute market bottoms.
When markets get ready to turn, they often experience extreme volatility. Yesterday, for instance, the price of silver ranged all the way from $20.20 to $23.30, about at 15 percent swing. Almost no one was a buyer right at the moment that silver was at its daily low, as prices quickly soared. As I write this Tuesday morning, the silver price is about 10 percent above yesterday’s low.
So, did those who bought silver over the past several months when prices were higher than $20.20 overpay? Taking the long-term perspective, I don’t think so. Since most potential buyers didn’t jump in at yesterday’s low, does that mean that it is too late to get into silver? I emphatically say no!
This excellent must read commentary by Patrick Heller was posted on the numismaster.com Internet site yesterday...and the first reader through the door with the story yesterday was Elliot Simon.
I believe that the big buyer of the 10 million ounces of gold liquidated in the GLD was JPMorgan, either alone or with other collusive commercial banks. The same methodology I’ve previously attributed to a potential Mr. Big in SLV (also probably JPMorgan) is at work in GLD. If one (or 2 or 3) big buyers in GLD had merely purchased the 100 million shares that were sold in GLD, that would have quickly pushed the big buyer(s) over the 5% SEC reporting threshold thereby revealing their identity. But by having the gold redeemed out of the trust and the metal being purchased (instead of shares), stock reporting requirements are evaded. A single holder, perhaps working with a few collusive partners, have come to own what is, effectively, almost a quarter of the world’s largest gold stockpile and no one is the wiser.
This absolute must read is only part of what Ted had to say to his paying subscribers in his Weekend Review on Saturday. I thank Elliot Simon for today's last story.